Sigmatech provides $1M gift to UAHuntsville to create global understanding eminent scholar

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (Sept. 16, 2011) -Sigmatech has provided a $1 million endowment for the establishment of an eminent scholar chair to the Department of Political Science in the College of Liberal Arts at The University of Alabama in Huntsville.

The Baba Budha Eminent Scholar Chair in Global Understanding, with specialization in Indian studies, is the first part of a dual-chair concept, originating at UAHuntsville. The second part is the Baba Deep Eminent Scholar chair in Global Understanding, with specialization in American Studies, to be established at Guru Nanak Dev University in Amritsar, India.

The position was approved today by the Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama during the group's meeting in Tuscaloosa.

"We are especially pleased with Dr. Sandhu's commitment to UAHuntsville to assist in enhancing global understanding," said Dr. Malcolm Portera, President of The University of Alabama in Huntsville and Chancellor of the University of Alabama System. "This gift provides more validation of the fact that we are an international community. The Eminent Scholar will be located in the College of Liberal Arts."

India, the world's largest democracy with1 billion people, is viewed as one of the three economic powers of the 21st century, the other two being the U.S. and China.

"The objective of this initiative is to educate students in a global business curriculum and ultimately to improve business, trade, and cultural relationships between the U.S. and India," Dr. Sandhu said.

Aside from Sigmatech's $1 million corporate contribution to the academic environment, the dual-chair concept also plays an academic ambassadorial role, which has special significance. The University of Alabama in Huntsville and Guru Nanak Dev University in Amritsar will benefit from two eminent scholars working together for future cooperation between their academic programs.

The City of Huntsville and the City of Amritsar will benefit from joint venture industrial programs. The State of Punjab is the agriculture state of the world's "green" revolution, which produces nearly 40 percent of India's reserve food supply. The state of Alabama will benefit from joint agricultural research programs in cooperation with its counterpart state, Punjab.

Dr. Gurmej Sandhu, the Chairman of Sigmatech, initiated the dual-chair concept. Having established the Chair at UAHuntsville, he is now following through with the establishment of the Baba Deep Eminent Scholar Chair in Amritsar, India.

Dr. Sandhu is a 1979 electrical engineering graduate from The University of Alabama in Huntsville. He was inducted into the Distinguished Engineering Academy of The University of Alabama in Huntsville in 2001 and was a recipient of the distinguished Alumni Achievement Award in 2004 for his contribution to system science and signal processing.

Dr. Sandhu said he strongly supports corporate contributions to develop the future workforce through the university environment.

"We are extremely grateful to Dr. Sandhu and Sigmatech for establishing this eminent scholar chair," said UAHuntsville Provost Vistasp Karbhari. "This will not only add strength to our already strong program in political science, but will also enable us to increase the awareness and understanding of the interconnectedness of the global community in which we live."

Dr. Karbhari added that UAHuntsville has a distinguished record of global partnerships in science and technology, and this chair will allow additional cross- and trans-disciplinary scholarship, while simultaneously working to meld hearts and minds across national, socio-political and cultural borders.

"We look forward to working together with friends and alumni as to take UAHuntsville to ever greater heights of excellence," Dr. Karbhari said.

For more information,

contact Ray Garner